Feb. 8, 2012

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Nine Innings with Barry Davis

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

Phil@collegebaseballinsider.com @RoadToOmaha


Barry Davis is entering his eighth season at Rider with a record of 190-181 with the Broncs. He guided Rider to Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titles and NCAA Regional berths in 2008 and 2010. The Broncs have advanced to the four-team MAAC Tournament in each of the past four seasons. Davis was voted the best game coach in the MAAC in our CBI coaches survey.


Davis has a career record of 761-348 as a head coach. He led Georgia Southwestern State from 2001-04 after 11 years at Gloucester County College, where he won four National Junior College crowns and eight Regional titles. Davis was named NJCAA Division III National Coach of the Year four times.


Davis recently took time to answer our questions about the Broncs and about his colleagues in the MAAC.


First Inning – What will it take for Rider to unseat Manhattan as MAAC champion in 2012?

The first thing is you have to make the conference tournament. When you only take four teams in a nine-team league, each team must be at its best in conference play.  Here is a simple formula: Win each series. Once you are in, anyone can win. It is that simple. 

Second Inning – You have guided the Broncs to a pair of MAAC titles and two NCAA Regional appearances. What were those experiences like for you personally and for the program?

It is very exciting to see the players who work hard all year long be rewarded in attaining a goal that is put at the top of the list each year.  

Third Inning – How do you see the race shaping up in the MAAC this season?

This season is wide open. We lost a tremendous group as did many others. There will be some surprises this year in my opinion. It is possibly the most balanced league in my eight years. 

Fourth Inning – Junior lefty Tyler Smith is considered the top closer in the MAAC. What makes him so successful at end of games?

He has the demeanor to handle tight situations. Mix in the ability to throw strikes on both sides of the plate combined with more than one pitch, it makes him successful late in games.

Fifth Inning – Your top two hitters return in senior Brandon Cotton and sophomore Nick Crescenzo. What makes them so productive at the plate?

Both have the ability to put the ball in play and pressure the defense with their speed. Both work extremely hard at their games and it has paid off so far.

Sixth Inning – There are some outstanding coaches in the MAAC. What impresses you most about Tony Rossi, entering his 43rd season as head coach at Siena?

Forty-three years in the game at the same place is impressive. Very. He also plays the toughest schedules in the MAAC, preparing his teams for conference play. They always are in the mix. A tribute to Tony.

Seventh Inning – Your tenure at Rider coincides with that of Mike McRae at Canisius, Pat Carey at Iona and Derek England at Saint Peter’s. What are your thoughts on coaching against these contemporaries?

I enjoy competing against their teams. Each of these programs has improved each year and this year will be no exception. I have to have my team ready to play each and every weekend.

Eighth Inning – What do you think of the newer coaches in the conference?

I think Bill Currier and Jim Duffy are excellent coaches with strong backgrounds on the Division I level. They will certainly raise the bar at their respective programs and I expect both will be contending immediately. 

Ninth Inning – Which coaches outside of the MAAC impress you?

There are so many coaches that do an excellent job all across the country. Being a coach in the Northeast, I am very impressed with what Jim Penders has done at Connecticut. Steady improvement each year and two consecutive Regional appearances. Eddie Blankmeyer has St. John’s in contention each year both in the Big East and on the national level. Brian O'Connor has put Virginia Baseball on the map. In his tenure, UVa have risen to an elite program.


(photos courtesy of Rider Media Relations Office)